out of the ashes

Friday, April 29, 2011


That usually gets a lot of people’s attention. What is it? Not sure. I don’t even think the US Supreme Court will touch the definition of that one. But then again…

Over there at Bookrix, my favorite author site, I posted a community message addressing books created, and which have big red Xs across the covers. I admonished the authors to consider the ramifications of putting these books on a “social site”, in view of the fact that lately the site seems to be inundated with lower teens and sub-teens.

“Would you want your children to read them?” I asked. Can they damage a young mind? That’s debatable certainly, but in my view books that are sexually explicit or gratuitously violent should not be read by impressionable children. Should we ban the books from the site, then.
No, absolutely not. That is censorship. I posited that WE can do nothing. It is a free and open site to anyone of any age. So...what is the solution? The individual author must consider carefully what posting a book might do to an impressionable mind. It is their decision.

“But I placed a 'Warning: May be offensive to some' on the cover page.”

Yeah? So what. I’m thirteen. My parents don’t police my internet activities that much, ESPECIALLY at a book site, so my hormones being like the inside of a nuclear reactor, what will I do?

Our children have enough crap thrown at them by the media and the other arts. I believe we should act responsibly when placing a platter of prime beef in front of them.

I don’t think I made many friends with my community post. We can rationalize anything if we need to; if it’s in our personal interests, but our gut usually speaks the truth.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Why am I on this ancient music gig?
In that cardboard box filled with CDs I ran across "Blind To Reason", 1988, by Grayson Hugh! MTV, when it still focused on music videos, used to play cut three, "Talk It Over." In that video I remember Grayson Hugh in a bedroom, coming out of a suitcase laying on the bed, singing. I think his love was inside that suitcase, too :) It was charming! Hugh's voice was crystal. Must download it! Maybe I'll write a story of two lovers trapped in a suitcase. Hmm...

My all-time favorite group. Absolutely, without a doubt. More so than the mighty Beatles, more than Sting (no, The Rolling Stones were never among them), Simon and Garfunkel...more than any were The Beach Boys!

I found "Pet Sounds" in that box. I anxiously added it to my playlist. Their harmonies were second to none, always, with Brian Wilson usually doing the lead vocals. What a gorgeous voice, but with the layering of Mike Love, Al Jardine, Dennis and Carl Wilson, they produced an innocent, magical sound.

I think I must have been a Junior in high school when Pet Sounds was released. Was it Kat, or Lorraine Martinez? No, a petite girl with long blond hair whose name I don't recall (who dissed my affections--crushed me lol). That's where I was.

I remember seeing The Beach Boys in concert one summer close to that time when they came to Denver--wearing those tight fitting white Levis and red-striped shirts. A good time to have been alive and young and still so innocent:)

"You Still Believe In Me." Cut # 2. Quintessential Beach Boys. Thanks Brian and company. You were the BEST!

Now I have to dig through that box again and find "Brothers."

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I ran across The Manhattan Transfer yesterday. Not in person…on iTunes:) Ahh, they were a fabulous group; very hip in the pop/jazz genre! Always loved them. In 1987 they recorded a song from Brazilian master, Djavan. “Sina”. I went back to iTunes today and did a Power Search for the cut by The Manhattan Transfer, found it, and so downloaded it.


I don’t know of anyone who could have stayed so close to the original recording and captured the incredible lilting melody of it; the entire flavor. And a bonus. The lyrics were in English! Ah, yes, I remember them. “Soul Food To Go.”

I’ve played The Transfer’s version, oh…20 times maybe already this evening. Check it out at iTunes:)

While you’re there see if you can pull up Djavan’s amazing album, “Luz”, recorded and released in 1986. Not the remix version done about ten years ago. The original.

’86 was a special year in my life; a joyful year, and I used to rod around in my truck with the cassette deck turned up full blast, listening to Luz. “Sina” is cut five on the album (I can’t find the original Luz album at iTunes!:( Sina (The Manhattan Transfer’s “Soul Food To Go.”) is totally Brazilian, sung by Djavan Caetano Viana playing Ovation, in front of his musicians on Yamaha Rhodes, Yamaha GS1, Baixo electric, acoustic, and Timbales-xequere. Simply too cool and heart melting!

Music:) I love it. I write to it.

I fell in love that year with the Brazilian language; the great musicians who rarely broke into the American mainstream music market. Pity. But Djavan did with this and other compositions. The language is so lyrical, so soft, and with the right singer, inspiring.

Pai e mãe, ouro de mina
Coração, desejo e sina
Tudo mais, pura rotina, jazz
Tocarei seu nome prá poder falar de amor

Minha princesa, art-nouveau
Da natureza, tudo o mais
Pura beleza, jazz

A luz de um grande prazer é irremediável neon
Quando o grito do prazer açoitar o ar, reveillon

O luar, estrela do mar
O sol e o dom, quiçá, um dia a fúria
Desse front virá lapidar
O sonho até gerar o som
Como querer caetanear o que há de bom

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I have to laugh. A good friend of mine is working with a young ten year-old girl who has written a...poem, it appears to be. The cover has a big red X on it. From a ten year-old?

Sheer curiosity badgered at me to open the book and take a glance. Thankfully it was only a page in length. No, it wasn't x-rated by any definition of the word, but it surprised me. Perhaps it shouldn't have.

This very young writer does write like a ten year-old, I suppose. In her poem she bemoaned the fact that she was perceived (she didn't use the word) herself as un-perfect; or "f-in Perfect" as she put it." So, she grew up and marryed (yes, marryed) a rich guy. Now she's "f-in perfect."

I suspect with time and great mentoring she will grow up. Maybe even marry a rich dude, lol. As for being f-in perfect...well, who can say?
Charmingly naaive.

I guess the point is, all of us f-in perfect adults must do what we can to help our kids, our future, to become something exceptional. I try. Sigh. Damn, it's hard sometime!